The public is invited to learn about the Rights of Nature movement, environmental awareness and advocacy, ecology, conservation, and indigenous wisdom of the natural world at the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Conference, Friday, Oct. 14, in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center.

“The conference will engage participants in holistic thinking by presenting varied perspectives about understanding earth systems, including a qualitative side of knowledge that is often overlooked,” said Michael Alfieri, Viterbo biology department chair and conference co-organizer. “Speakers will share their work and viewpoints, while leading discussions about establishing and maintaining a deep relationship with our fresh water, forests, land, plants and animals, and ourselves.”

The conference will feature 14 presenters. Featured speakers and their topics include:

Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth: “Rights of Nature.” LaDuke will give the keynote address at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. Her presentation is free and open to the general public, not just conference attendees. A reception will follow the event;

Elisa Amel, University of St. Thomas: “Leverage Psychology for Sustainability”;

Paul DeMain, Indian Country Communications, Inc.: “Historic Tribal Economies and Indigenous Languages: Food, Fuel and Medicines for the Future”;

Mari Margil, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund – “Indigenous Rights and the Rights of Nature.”

The conference is sponsored by the Ho-Chunk Nation, the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University, and the Viterbo University biology department. It is free and open to the public with limited registration. For complete details and registration information, visit

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Vernon County Broadcaster editor

Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Broadcaster. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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